This has been a challenging year for all of us, but one category of folks that I don’t think gets enough attention are the nonprofit organizations, especially small and under-the-radar ones, that support so much of what we love about our community, from arts and culture, to historic and environmental protection. I realized a LOT of the places I mentioned in Secret San Jose are nonprofits themselves are supported by charitable organizations. And a lot of them are struggling to pay the bills right now, having lost their normal in-person fundraising and fee-generating opportunities this year.
On this Giving Tuesday, I wanted to share a few of the nonprofit organizations that, I think, make our community great.
My Personal COVID-Related Charitable Commitment
Since the pandemic started, I’ve been volunteering my time as frequently as I can at Second Harvest of Silicon Valley‘s weekly food distribution events. While certainly not small, they do an incredible job providing free healthy food to thousands of families every week and the need for this has skyrocketed this year. I have also commited to donating 10% of my proceeds from all sales of the book Secret San Jose via this website to Second Harvest through the end of the pandemic. Join my giving team and help support this important work! And if you have any time at all, please give a few hours to help out at one of their food distribution events. I usually volunteer at the Tuesday afternoon Our Lady of Refuge church distribution, the Saturday morning County Social Services distribution site, or the Monday morning Mexican Heritage Plaza site.
This year I also started giving a monthly recurring donation to Sacred Heart Community Services, an organization that provides a wide range of services for our community’s most vulnerable members, from food and clothing to housing and financial assistance, humane public policy advocacy, and immigrant legal assistance (I’m a long-time volunteer responder for the Santa Clara County Immigration Rapid Response Network, which they coordinate). All of their work is rooted in social justice and the attempt to fix structural inequalities, work that is needed more than ever right now.
Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations Mentioned in Secret San Jose
But that said, here is a list of all the nonprofit organizations that I either mention by name in Secret San Jose, or that support the work of places included in the book. Most are located here in the South Bay, but a few are are regional or national organizations. I’m looking for opportunities to support them this holiday season as much as I can by attending their paid events, donating $10 or $20 whenever I attend any of their “free” virtual events, and supporting their fundraisers.
Our community would be much less interesting, compassionate, and diverse without these organizations. If you agree, please consider supporting them this holiday season!
Arts, Culture, and History
- Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
- American Beethoven Society
- California Trolley and Railroad Corporation
- Chavez Family Vision
- Chinese Historical & Cultural Project
- Chopsticks Alley Art
- El Teatro Campesino
- History San José
- Japanese American Museum of San Jose
- La Raza Historical Society
- Portuguese Historical Museum
- Preservation Action Council of San Jose
- San Jose Museum of Art
- San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
- School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza
- School of Visual Philosophy
- Teatro Visión
Science, Nature, and Environment
- Bay Area Ridge Trail
- Computer History Museum
- Friends of Lick Observatory
- Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Big Basin Fire Recovery Fund
- New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association
- San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
- Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
- Sempervirens Fund
- Valley Verde
- Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
- Youth Science Institute
Community Building & Other Services
- Friends of San José Public Libraries
- Goodwill of Silicon Valley
- Northern California Velodrome Association
- San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Institute (SPUR)
- San Jose Woman’s Club
- The Dancing Cat
- United Farm Workers
Communities of Faith
This is by no means a comprehensive list of local nonprofits – there are hundreds of other organizations doing really important work to protect our community. You can find other local nonprofits working to serve our community on the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits website.